6 Common Air Conditioner Smells Decoded and How to Repair Them

April 21, 2021

When your air conditioner is spotless and running properly, you shouldn’t be smelling anything strange. Unexpected air conditioner noises and weird smells are a hint that something is wrong. If your air conditioner is getting older or you haven’t had a tune-up done lately, they can be an obvious sign you need pro air conditioning repair in Middle Georgia.

Here are six of the top air conditioner smells and how you can solve them.

1. Central Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals

If your air conditioner smells bad when turned on, particularly a chemical odor, isn’t a positive sign. You could also observe your:

  • Air conditioner smells like paint thinner
  • Home air conditioner smells sweet

These sweet, chemical scents are regularly a sign that your air conditioner has a refrigerant leak. Your system uses this gas to shift heat through copper coils, which can wear out as time goes on.

4 Signs You Have a Refrigerant Leak

Aside from the weird smell, here are four other hints that you are dealing with a refrigerant leak.

  1. Bubbling or hissing sounds when your air conditioner is cooling.
  2. Ice on refrigerant lines or the evaporator coil.
  3. Difficulty keeping your home cool or achieving your set temperature.
  4. Increasing energy expenses.

How You Can Repair It

A refrigerant leak needs experienced repairs from a heating and cooling company like Air Concepts of Middle Georgia. Your cooling professional will pinpoint and mend the leak before recharging your air conditioner with refrigerant.

Resolving a refrigerant leak typically costs between $225 and $1,600, per nationwide averages put together by HomeAdvisor. Your exact cost will depend on the location and severity of the leak, as well as how long it takes to solve.

If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, it’s likely it runs on R-22 or Freon refrigerant. This refrigerant is no longer being made as a result of its harmful effects on the ozone layer. As a consequence, repairs can be significantly expensive so it may be smartest to do air conditioning installation in this situation.

2. Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas

If your air conditioner smells like rotten eggs, there’s probably nothing wrong with it. But there’s a good probability you have a natural gas leak in your residence. Natural gas has a sulfur-like additive to alert you when there’s a leak, as the gas can be deadly in big amounts.

How You Can Repair It

If you detect a sulfur or rotten egg odor, we suggest:

  • Turning off your gas supply.
  • Opening windows.
  • Leaving your home promptly.
  • Getting in touch with your gas company immediately.

3. Air Conditioner Smells Musty

People who reach us about this situation frequently say their air conditioner smells like feet, dirty socks or a locker room when it runs. Also called dirty sock syndrome, this smell is usually linked to a dirty evaporator coil that has mold, mildew and bacteria buildup. Excess water can also make your home air conditioner smell bad. Dirty sock syndrome is most often seen in areas where you need heating at night and during the morning before turning on cooling during the afternoon.

How to Fix It

The best approach for preventing dirty sock syndrome is to regularly change your air filter and schedule annual air conditioning maintenance with Air Concepts of Middle Georgia. We’ll keep the evaporator coil clean and the drainage system flowing, as excess water can also create nasty odors.

4. Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar

If you are experiencing air conditioner mildew smell or a pungent, vinegar-like odor, it can be prompted by several problems, such as:

  • A clogged filter
  • Extra condensation
  • Plugged condensate pan or drain line
  • Moldy air conditioner or ductwork

How to Solve It

Examine your filter first. If you haven’t replaced it within the last three months and can’t see light through it, you should replace it. If that doesn’t solve the problem, call Air Concepts of Middle Georgia at 478-200-5689.

5. Air Conditioner Smells Like Burning Plastic

If you’re experiencing an air conditioner burning smell or that your air conditioner smells like fish, there could be several things wrong. These involve:

  • Broken capacitator that’s overheating the motor.
  • Motor that requires lubrication.
  • Broken fan belt.
  • Electrical malfunctions.

Electrical issues should be examined quickly to prevent a fire. If you notice burning plastic when your air conditioner is running, turn it off and contact us at 478-200-5689 right away.

6. Air Conditioner Smells Like Cat Pee

An overpowering ammonia odor means there could be mold spreading inside your air conditioner or ductwork. The smell isn’t the mold itself, but the mycotoxins that mold makes.

How to Repair It

Mycotoxins are hazardous to your wellness. That’s why you should have a pro like Air Concepts of Middle Georgia examine your air conditioner and ductwork and clean it when recommended.

Our Specialists Can Eliminate Unpleasant Air Conditioner Smells Rapidly

You deserve to be comfortable in your house and shouldn’t have an air conditioner that smells bad. When you are seeking relief from your noxious air conditioner, give us a call at 478-200-5689. We’ll figure out the trouble quickly and resolve it at a reasonable.